Driving with an intoxicating sense of organised chaos, Manuel Muzzu’s album 3-Ree is an organic jazz-fest of bass-led, hi-hat-soaked funk and instrumental soul.
The soundscapes throughout the project meander in true composer-like fashion, offering a simple loop to begin with, later progressing to explore greater realms of emotion and mood. Always the bass stands tall, keeping a fairly human melodic aspect at the forefront, even a freestyle flavor, but underneath this we get a plethora of strings, horns, keys, and a variety of energy levels.
Give a Fu(n)k through Kosing introduce this approach well, with fragments of Gospel-like vocals even emerging intermittently. The real-time crash of the drums is consistently refreshing, and works hard to re-create that live jam setting we’ve all been missing throughout 2020 so far.
Then we get a wash of sci-fi-esque electronic sound-play to accompany the rising brightness of Giant Step – it’s retro gamer land, still unpredictable in true jazz fashion, hypnotic in its own ever-changing way. This feels a little like a medley or promotional clip of a collection of different moments. The live stage show would most probably light up a whole new aspect of the experience.
A dash of mellow reflection calms the nerves as A Place to Be fills the room – piano and symbols, subtle melodies, rising energy and optimism. Then we get the uplifting rhythm and foot-tapping groove of Soca Suca to lighten the mood and offer a cinematic hit of multi-layered escapism.
On a similar note, Smoothazz twinkles through to command the space with a notably nostalgic, classic-film aura. Strings fill the backdrop, creating a comforting warmth, while melodies and ever-passionate drum-work keep things moving.
A personal favorite from this album is the somewhat more effected, mildly experimental Stay Right To The Bottom. Having introduced it as such, it’s also worth noting that the live, organic aspects are what really appeal – the potential for a stage show at a festival, for example, is extremely interesting. At the same time there’s a production aspect involved, which really lights the whole thing up. It’s an inspiring piece, enjoyable throughout and again impossible to predict as it moves along.
Just A Lullaby follows and brings things to an appropriately titled finish – delicate keys and a bending, bassy melody soothe the soul one last time. Later on a touch of heightened emotion hits with the strings, the rise in notes chosen, the unity between elements. Slowly but surely there’s a shiver-inducing energy to the progression, and by the end you’re likely to feel well and truly free from the weight of the world – and ready to breathe in a brand new day.
Brilliant musicianship, and a fine collection of compositions. Enjoy.